Founding of the IATN_News_News / Information_International Alliance for Translational Neuroscience 

News / Information

Translational research is a powerful process that drives the clinical research engine by overcoming difficulties to apply new basic knowledge in the clinic. An integration of excellent basic research, powerful resources and advanced technologies will distinctly strengthen and accelerate the translational processes, especially if this can be accomplished in a coordinated way at multiple institutions around the world.

As such, six internationally recognized institutions in the field of neuroscience, including: Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, Capital Medical University; Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet; Massachusetts General Hospital; McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Brain Research Center, University of British Columbia; Florey Institutes of Neuroscience and Mental Health, University of Melbourne, have agreed to form an Alliance for fostering integration and collaboration of translational neuroscience research activities among the member institutions.

Responding to the call of Professor Xiaomin Wang, Vice President of CMU, an informal meeting was held at Intercontinental Hotel Beichen, Beijing on August 28, 2012 to discuss the proposed IATN. The participants of this meeting are listed below.


Biao Chen

Department of Neurology, Xuan Wu Hospital, CMU

Robert Desimone

McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT

Howard Feldman

Brain Research Centre, University of British Columbia

Guoping Feng

McGovern Institute for Brain Research, MIT

Tomas Hökfelt

Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet

Jianping Jia

Department of Neurology, Xuan Wu Hospital, CMU

Tao Jiang

Department of Neurosurgery, Beijing Tian Tan Hospital,CMU

Xunming Ji

Xuan Wu Hospital, CMU

Xiaoying Wang

Clinical Proteomics Research Center and Neuroprotection Research Laboratory, Harvard Medical School

Qian Wang

Office of International Cooperation, CMU

Xiaomin Wang

Beijing Institute for Brain Disorders, CMU

Zhongcong Xie

Massachusetts General Hospital

Zhiqing David Xu

Department of Neurobiology, CMU

As a result, it was concluded to found IATN as summarized in The Beijing Document (Memorandum of Understanding, IATN), which was signed by the representatives from six institutions, the founding member institutions.

It was agreed that a working committee should be formed. Professor Xiaomin Wang and Zhi-Qing David Xu were nominated as the Chair and Secretary of the committee, respectively, based on the consensus of the participants.

Further members are appointed by the member institutions (one from each institution).

It was agreed that the IATN will act as an advocate for translational neuroscience research and education among the member institutions, by: firstly,  building eight International Collaboration Centers, based on eight major brain disorders (Alzheimer’s disease, brain tumors,depression, epilepsy, nerve injury and restoration, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and stroke), to share resources including, but not limited to, clinical data and tissue banks, transgenic animals and related tissues, equipment and technical expertise in the context of the Alliance; secondly,forming a joint PhD program, supported by Capital Medical University (CMU), to foster collaborative research in mutual areas of excellence between CMU and other member institutions. The CMU will cover the living and travel expenses fully or partially; thirdly establishing collaboration among the individual PIs of the member institutions. The Seed Grant Program, sponsored by CMU, will support early-stage and development of joint projects between PIs from CMU and other member institutions; finally organizing conferences and workshops in the translational neuroscience field to provide fora for better interactions between principal investigators and their teams from the member institutions.

The inaugural ceremony of IATN was held at Beijing international convention center, Beijing on August 28, 2012.